Wow! I am dumbfounded by this album. Kelsey Lu’s debut EP Church is so stunningly unique, that your mind will devour its newness. Her music makes you feel like you have been parched all your life, seeking some way to quench this thirst, and you come upon the sweetest nectar to satisfy you after such a strained search. I know that is a dramatic analogy, but to hear music be both fresh and refreshing seems rare. Church comes off like the entrance into a sacred temple, with relaxing instrumentals and vocal high-notes that will make Kelsey Lu seem more like a celestial spirit singing than an actual human being.
Hailing from North Carolina, Kelsey Lu is a singer, song-writer, and magnificent cellist. Her compositions have been featured by fellow amazing acts Blood Orange and Wet. Yet, this EP is a masterpiece of beauty and introspect. She has created music that is 100% herself and hers. Each track feels like you are diving headfirst into her soul, and swimming in thoughts of vulnerable radiance. Her voice is hauntingly regal like, a queen mourning her lover. Meanwhile, her musical compositions are so beyond anything on the radio that you will wonder if you are picking up the local music station of a different planet. Her songs are so lovely and raw with emotion they must be made from the light of a distant star. I never thought I would say “God Bless The Cello”, but Lu reveals the therapeutic nature of this instrument. Honestly, her songs will strike listeners with the open sentiments they emote both instrumentally and vocally.
A Track By Track Review of Kelsey Lu’s Church:
Dreams: This song begins with pure, majestic instrumentals. For its first 3 minutes, you feel like, you are falling both from and into Heaven, which is a weird contrast. On one hand, there is a sadness to the cello’s strums that make you believe you are listening to the last pangs of light a star has before it dims: sad and splendid. Your sentiment is founded as, like a dream, Kelsey Lu’s voice appears to sing of the devastating woe every human being feels at not being able to repair a broken relationship, even if love remains. Though she drinks and see her lover in dreams, its over. Thus, for all the ethereal, healing percussions, the pain persists.
Time: the rapid plucks of the cello emphasize the quickness of time. From the minute Lu sings, “You are running out of time, running out of things to hide”, there is a sense of emotional urgency. You feel as if you have been revealed in some fashion like, Lu has discovered your secrets and vulnerabilities. Ultimately, the song speaks on waiting for a love to correspond only to realize that that love is waste of time.
Morning After Coffee: probably the sultriest of her tracks, there is a quiet, pensiveness to this song. You almost believe that it was written and recorded after morning coffee. It is soft, thoughtful, and elaborates the whimsical trance offered by Kelsey Lu’s resplendent voice. Towards the end, you think you have entered a spiritual revival with the beauty of its harmonies.
Empathy:Another glorious song that will make you wonder if Lu aims to embody beauty through her music. It is not that she is a talented musician, but a ravishing one. I have never heard an artist make songs that were consistently gorgeous. As she pleads for empathy, you wish you can reach through the song to hold her.
Visions of Old: This is a song that feels like you are witnessing a ballet of sirens. Lu’s breathy voice sulks through fantastical lyrics and dampened spirits. She speaks on aging with a tragic grandeur. As she sings on time turning youth into elderly, you literally can see her vision. Time is a cruel maven transforming the brightness of being young into a tiredness.
Liar: This song is too wonderful for proper words, and is my favorite of the Church EP. As Lu heartbreakingly sings, “I’m not giving up on me”, you place more faith in her. “I am sad” or “I’m angry” are brokenly repeated by Lu over harps, violins, and cellos. The song feels composed by a whimpering geisha. From its first note, its sounds like you are in Japan under falling cherry blossoms, wondering why you feel so wounded and coming to grips that that is okay.
If you are a person that admires the beauty of music buy Kelsey Lu’s Church EP on June 8. It literally is the definition of pretty. Click Here for more information on Kelsey Lu, and other artists signed to True Panther Sounds.